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Website Checklists for Small Business Owners

Whether you're a solopreneur or an established business, having a website that targets the right people, has the information those people are looking for, is well designed, functions properly, and gets promoted is crucial.



46% of searchers look for local businesses [using search engines]. Source: SocialMediaToday.com

And 45% of those searchers are likely to visit a local store afterward. Source: PRnewswire.com


But a lot of small businesses either don't have a website at all or don't follow a checklist like the ones below to ensure it's serving there business and not hurting them.


38% of people will stop interacting with a poorly designed site. Source: SlideShare.net/adobe

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A laptop with a website page on it.

Why is a Website Crucial?

  • Builds your Brand and Brand Trust

  • You Own the Platform - Social media is known for continually updating its algorithm which can affect your page being seen. But by having a solid website, you'll still be able to connect with potential customers.

  • Makes You Look More Professional - It sets you apart from those other business who don't have a website.

  • Better Analytics - You'll be able to track your customer's journey better and collect leads

  • Increased Visibility

  • Brings in Local Traffic - 97% of users use search to find local businesses

  • Offers Social Proof - You'll be able to share testimonials and happy customer comments in one, easy to read location - remember, posting a testimonial on social is important, but social feeds are fleeting.



Checklists

Section 1: Planning

  • Define your goals. What do you want your website to achieve? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Make both broad and specific goals. Consulting your marketing strategy helps with this step.

  • Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your website? Make sure to create your buyer personas to get a well-defined target audience.

  • Research your competition. What are other businesses in your industry doing well online? What could they be doing better? What do you do that you want to try with your brand? What makes you unique?

  • Choose a domain name and web hosting provider. Your domain name is your website's address on the internet, and your web hosting provider is the company that stores your website's files and makes them accessible to visitors. Using your business name as the domain name will help customers find you better. Avoid using weird spellings and variations of your business name.

  • Develop a website map. A website map is a blueprint for your website that shows how all of the pages will be connected. It could look something like this:

    • About

    • Products

      • Type of Product 1 (ie apparel)

      • Type of Product 2 (ie homegoods)

      • Type of Product 3

    • Contact Us





Section 2: Design

  • Choose a website template or design theme. There are many different website templates and design themes available online. Choose one that matches your brand and the overall look and feel you want for your website. If you have a brick and mortar business, try and match the feel and unique attributes you have in-store on the website. If you are an online business, use your logo or branding kit as inspiration.

  • Use high-quality images and graphics. Images and graphics can make your website more visually appealing and engaging. However, be sure to use high-quality images and graphics that are optimized for the web. Photos should be clear and crisp but ensure they are compressed so the website isn't slow to load.

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet. Make sure your website looks good and functions well on all devices. Responsive designs are now easier to create with tools like Wix.





Section 3: Content

  • Write clear and concise copy. Your website's copy should be easy to read and understand. Avoid using jargon and technical terms that your target audience may not understand. It's recommended that you write for the 7th or 8th grade reading level. Keep it short and sweet.

  • Use keywords throughout your website. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Tools like Semrush can help you find relevant keywords that relate to your industry, product/service, target audience, and location. Don't get on these, take the time to do good research and thoughtfully place these keywords in your website.

  • Include a call to action on every page. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next, whether it's signing up for your email list, making a purchase, or contacting you.




Section 4: Functionality

  • Make sure your website loads quickly. Visitors are more likely to leave a website that takes too long to load. In fact, 40% of people will stop engaging with a slow website. Make sure your photos are compressed and each page is optimized.

  • Make it easy for visitors to navigate your website. Use a clear and concise navigation menu and avoid using too much drop-down navigation. Don't clutter the navigation bar with too many options. Keep it simple.

  • Include a search bar on your website. This will help visitors find the information they're looking for quickly and easily.

  • Make sure your website is secure. Use a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to encrypt all of the data that is transmitted between your website and visitors' browsers.




Section 5: Promotion

  • Submit your website to search engines. This will help your website rank higher in SERPs. Allow search engines to easily crawl your pages to allow for better SEO.

  • Promote your website on social media. Share links to your website on your social media pages and encourage your followers to visit your website.

  • Run paid advertising campaigns. Paid advertising can be a great way to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your website.



Additional Considerations

  • Users spend 88% more time on web pages with video content

  • Readers are 94% more likely to read your entire blog if it takes less than 6 minutes to read.

  • 61% of U.S. consumers made a purchase because of a blog.




Download The 5 Website Checklists


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